Break in storms comes to end; Northern California closes in on record wet season

Filed in Uncategorized by on March 18, 2017 2,491 Comments

Multi-week break in active storm pattern allows water to recede

A persistent trough along the West Coast–associated with wet conditions in California–has co-occurred with a persistent upstream ridge over the Aleutians. (NCEP via ESRL)

2016-2017 turned out to be quite the winter across California (especially in the northern half of the state). A relentless series of storms–driven by persistent troughing and an associated active jet stream along the West Coast–brought numerous atmospheric rivers and associated heavy precipitation to much of the state since November. Notably, there was in fact a broad and highly persistent downstream ridge centered over the Aleutian Islands for much of the winter. This conspicuous feature does bear some resemblance to the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge which plagued California in recent drought years, though clearly its position this winter was far enough west to have vastly different effects in the Golden State. I will eventually have a more comprehensive post focused on the possible causes of California’s reversal in fortune this year, along with some thoughts regarding why such an anomalously wet winter was essentially unanticipated.

All of California has been wetter than average this winter; most of Northern California has experienced record wet conditions. (WRCC)

On average, California has experienced near to above-average temperatures this winter, despite consistent precipitation. (WRCC)

Interestingly, none of the individual storms so far this season have been particularly destructive by California’s historical standards. Instead, most of the widespread flooding, mudslides, and other infrastructure disruptions that have occurred stemmed primarily from the cumulative effect of unusually frequent moderate to strong storm events. It has been previously noted that California’s most dangerous flood events do not necessarily occur during California’s wettest winters, although it’s not totally clear whether that’s just a matter of historical luck. What is pretty clear, though, is that this year’s extreme wetness on the seasonal scale has pushed parts of California’s aging water infrastructure to the brink–and had even a single additional warm, wet atmospheric river come ashore during the peak of winter, the overall flood situation might have been considerably more serious.

Fortunately, most of California did receive a substantial break from the wet weather over the past couple of weeks, with mostly dry and warm conditions nearly statewide so far in March. That dry pattern, however, is rapidly coming to an end (as I discuss further below).

 

 

 

Yes, California really is closing in on wettest Water Year on record

Now that we’re more than 2/3 of the way through California’s wet season, it’s pretty clear that much of the state has experienced its wettest 3-6 month period on record. Virtually every corner of the state is above average to date, though anomalies have been much more impressive in the north. The Northern Sierra watersheds are currently sitting at just above 200% of average precipitation for the season to date–a rather extraordinary statistic. If California receives at least average precipitation for the rest of the season, 2016-2017 would become the state’s wettest Water Year on record.

Overall, California’s year-to-date precipitation is nearly the wettest on record. (UCSD)

Snowpack in California’s mountains is also well above average and the highest since the very wet/snowy winter of 2010-2011. What is striking, however, is how much Sierra snow water equivalent has lagged overall precipitation. For example, Northern Sierra snow water equivalent is currently 145% of average (vs 202% of average for overall precipitation). This effect has been particularly pronounced at middle-elevation regions where wintertime temperatures are more “marginal” for frozen precipitation than at colder, higher elevations. While this winter has certainly been colder than recent (record warm) ones, conditions have still been near to above average across most of the state–and more importantly, have been considerably warmer than during most of California’s historically wet winters.

 

Substantial late-season storminess to return; Central Valley thunderstorms likely

Model ensemble forecasts suggest a high likelihood of moderate to heavy precipitation over Norcal next 10d, with light to moderate amounts across SoCal. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

California’s temporary reprieve from wet conditions is rapidly coming to a close. A series of storms will bring renewed precipitation to most of the state over the next few days, and accumulations could be pretty impressive for mid-March. Northern California is expected to receive the lion’s share of precipitation from this series of storms, but Southern California will definitely still see some rainfall (and perhaps some heavier stuff, depending on how the details work out). Several of these storms will have a respectable moisture tap, and heavy precipitation may occur in the same orographically favored areas that have already seen a tremendous amount of rain this winter. While none of these storms looks especially strong at the moment, soils are still saturated and rivers running high across the northern half of the state. Thus, there will probably be some renewed flooding concerns at some point over the next 10 days, especially since any rainfall will combine with the early snowmelt pulse that has already begun this year. Also, since these storms will be relatively slow moving and will likely contain substantial moisture, there is the potential for precipitation accumulations to end up somewhat higher than are currently anticipated.

 

The upcoming storms will also be associated with cold air aloft during at least a portion of the event, and with the increasingly strong March sun angle atmospheric instability will be elevated across much of the state. Thus, occasional thunderstorms are a good bet across favored areas (especially the Central Valley and perhaps parts of the South Coast). Some locally strong to severe thunderstorms will probably occur at some point over the next 10 days in the Central Valley (as often happens in March), but pinpointing the most active days is difficult at the moment. Needless to say…an active late winter/early spring weather pattern will likely be in place for at least the next 10-12 days, and perhaps beyond.

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  • Jockman

    Insightful and thorough as always. Thanks Daniel!

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Perfect a new blog post for me to dive right into this storm cycle with. Cheers to you Daniel!

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Haven’t read the blog yet but can’t wait

  • Dan weather maniac

    Great recap and insight as always!

    Can’t wait to see your thoughts on how this winter was totally unforeseen.

    Also your thoughts on the current state of the great mighty pacific and how it may influence the summer fall and beyond later this year.

    Sitting on over 40 inches in the east bay hills and may hit 50 before this historical year closes out!

  • kalalp

    Looking forward to the weather events.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    The last sentence gets all people with midwest and plains origins rolling

  • This was the year we were waiting for, bring on some more!

  • Rio Rat

    I feel like my 3yr old grandson must feel like at Christmas, the season that keeps on giving.

    • redlands

      Rio rat — where u from ???? myself at my station in Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca — am bit disappointed with this season — missed out on lots of the action — either too far north or south of the storms — wont even come close to my record of 29.05 in 92/93. — will just be an average or little bit past average — when it could of been in the top 3-5 wettest. I think 92/93 was more widespread rainfall for all

  • RandomTreeInSB

    As always, thanks for the update.
    My rain gauge in Santa Barbara have recorded 24.85 inches of rain so far this season. I hope the next series for storms will put us at or above the 27 inches mark, which translates to 150% of seasonal average.

  • Danlyle (Mariposa)

    Excellent update, Daniel. Looks that the scenario will March in like a lamb…

  • Thanks for update and recap. On a casual note: My wife ripped out MY rain gauge today. She said “We’re done!” I asked if she was serious and she said I think you’re smart enough to know a double entendre. So I’m going now to look up the definition.

    • One thing I missed:
      “I will eventually have a more comprehensive post focused on the possible causes of California’s reversal in fortune this year, along with some thoughts regarding why such an anomalously wet winter was essentially unanticipated.”

      I know a few of us who are really looking forward to reading your opinion!

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        You said before the winter it depends on the position of the HP, you were right 🙂

    • AlTahoe

      This might be my favorite post of the year! Either this or the person that posted in February that march might be the driest month ever after one Gfs run showed high pressure.

    • Pfirman

      Let us know what you find out. Pretty obtuse, but the I would hardly call ripping out YOUR rain gauge casual.
      This might explain why Cap’n and Bombillo are MIA.

  • CHeden

    Thanks Daniel!
    Agreed, this year will be one that the climatologists will be pondering for years to come. Will be looking forward later on to your analysis of the reasons behind why
    the LR/seasonal models were/have been so drastically inaccurate.
    We’re not talking about a minor deviation here…. but rather a consistently bleak precip forecast that has persisted month to month all Winter…. yet the year may in reality turn out as a record-setter as you’ve noted. In particular, even when we were in the heart of the Dec-Feb. deluge period, the monthly models STILL were not picking up on the generic pattern that wound up affecting nearly half of the northern hemisphere. As a climate scientist, it must be disconcerting that a pattern as pervasive as this one has been, was either ignored or miscalculated for an entire season….and I now wonder if the entire Global Warming long range scenarios (as far as western NA Wx is concerned) may be subject to re-thinking?

    • Sfedblog

      It wasn’t the only pervasive pattern that was ignored or miscalculated this season. So far, there’s been little “re-thinking” on any front, if you know what I mean.

      • CHeden

        Yes, I do.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Indeed

    • Charlie B

      1951-52 had a stuck cold storm pattern. That is why I find it so interesting. The next two or three updates will reveal snow depths twice what we have seen this year, at pass level at least. It was an outlier since the. Ext few years featured less snow and the 1955 floods. I’m convinced that at best we can make educated guesses on this stuff long range and seasonal. Curveballs are notoriously hard to hit.

    • Bartshe

      “and I now wonder if the entire Global Warming long range scenarios (as
      far as western NA Wx is concerned) may be subject to re-thinking?”

      Don’t follow your rationale. How often does any computer model or individual accurately predict a CA precip year? Even the best prediction record leaves plenty of room for uncertainty.

      • Pfirman

        During the RRR storms dried up. This year they wetted up. Gross generalization I realize, but speaking just for California.

      • CHeden

        deleted by me.

  • CHeden

    As for our sensible weather, during the afternoon, a wave within the base of a digging trough now out around -135E, 32N seems to be showing signs of closing off. The models up to this point were showing this feature remaining as an open wave, but this WV seems to be showing otherwise.
    ATTM, there does appear to be some lift in the immediate area of lower pressure, but mostly just high cloudiness is streaming out from the core. Once the low rounds the base of the trough, it’s likely to track to the NE, bringing it over Cent. Calif. on Sunday. Not expecting anything widespread, but at least there’s a decent chance of some light precip or even a cell or two popping up should any residual circulation (and ascent) move overhead.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45654f1ab9c5bd58930e3135109000598e24ae43e7301394809d98c1d484e6fe.jpg

  • Good thing my 17 ft Grumman canoe is ready. 🙂
    Daniel, as always thank you for all you do everyday.
    You’ll be interested to know my father (also a weather buff) is reading your posts.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Thanks for the update Daniel!! Very exciting stuff to read! Made my day! 🙂 ??

  • Colonel Lingus

    CIA Whistleblower Speaks Out About Climate Engineering

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    I can’t wait for the radar to be lit up with thunderstorms and lightning strikes! ??? in the coming days! I got a good feeling about the T-storms for next week! Gonna be the best all season! The widespread T-storm event we’ve all be craving is on its way!! 😛

    • I’m holding you to this prediction!

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Let the least stormiest part of lower 48 get thunderstorms, I agree with your predictions!

    • max

      You may want to move to Orlando,Fla, . If it be that T- Storms what float your boat ..or, the Midwest , tornado alley OK, NO TX, SO Missouri and on over..
      . Been there and , although fun in Cali,, no fun when tornadoes are a part of the dynamics. Ever be running down a Hwy, at 70 MPH, with the Doppler radio warnings over riding the regular radio programming, with storm shelter warnings, golf ball hail blowing out windshields. Cars looking like Titelist7 golf balls had been in those storms? Might be nice to 9bserve, but not to have the dynamics overwhelm you.. Spent a lot of time back there , and it gets REALLY scary…

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Precip will be above average here. If it stopped raining completely, we have 79 inches now against a yearly average of about 52 inches. Snow on the other hand, is something that has been occurring “up the hill.” We have 53 inches–mostly from a couple of January events–versus an average of 70 inches of snow. It has clearly been warmer. My days wearing three layers of clothes (WTLC ratio) were much fewer. All months except January were below average for snow, and March figures to be below average also.

    • Yolo Hoe

      This ratio could compete with Curtis Fog Theory (CFTv2) for notoriety. Hopefully this next week will push your levels to average.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Only 1 day of rainfall [0.13] on 3/5/17 & 12 days 80 or above this month so far

    • Jason

      Good thing it will cool off slightly for tomorrow’s marathon. They’ve had pretty bad luck in recent years even when they moved it to February.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Good to read Daniel’s synopsis and to have a fresh comment section to hone in on the upcoming week. Let’s keep CA green till July, let more rain/snow come our way.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Thanks for the update Daniel, it has been an iterating winter to say the least. Some areas around TD have dirt showing but where I am we still have snow above the snow poles. Spring will be interesting between what Mother Nature has in store as well as snow melt exposing damage not yet seen. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b3f984e65981509a3528b834b5918b0dc7a7c0872bcf25c480b80c9388254ff6.jpg

    • Charlie B

      I was in downtown Reno today. The Truckee was pounding. Spring will be interesting. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/81a93828a775909143ded9cef50ed841d511619cfd6dbd32daba2adf97a0dde2.jpg

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        Is the renaissance the old Siena hotel? I remember the huge plans the original developer had for that area. Never worked out…obviously.

        • Charlie B

          Yup. Cursed property.

      • sezwhom

        Just beginning too. Aerial coverage over Sierra shows some 75 foot depths. Why do you think they had to ramp up outflows at Lake Oroville too. Increasing a foot a day now.

        • Where are they seeing 75 foot depths, the over 10k peaks in the central Sierra that saw snow when others saw rain? I took pictures of those peaks a few weeks ago and the bowls of powder looked like what one sees in Tibet. I need to post it here…

    • Pfirman

      Helluva cornice.

  • SloTruckeeJohn

    IMG_0797.3gp.mov

    • Charlie B

      I think all weather westers should call themselves Faniels! Fans of Daniel!

  • Howard Goodman

    I live just above the Feather River at 4000 feet , been keeping track of the rainfall this year , it looks like I may have received more rain than any place in the continental United States , the closest place I can find to the amount that I’ve gotten is Four Trees at 140 inches , it’s south of me about 8 miles since the rain started in Oct. I’ve recorded over 175 inches

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      More inches of rain than South Lake Tahoe has got in snow

      • AlTahoe

        That rainfall total really is unbelievable. I am guessing they will finish with over 200″ of rain. Wow!

    • Nathan

      God damn

    • alanstorm

      And there I was all ready to unleash a bitchfest about my 90″+ winter sogginess.

    • Charlie B

      What does one do in Rag Dump on a lazy Saturday night? Or anytime for that mstter.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Wonder what bombillo is looking at compared to you, he hasn’t been on the blog in weeks

    • Tuolumne

      Thanks for the report. There is always the question of orographically favored places that just don’t have weather stations like the upper parts of the southwest-facing valleys in the Olympic Mountains. This year you may well be ahead of them with the storm track averaging farther south than usual.

      BTW, Alaska *is* continental, just not contiguous. This sounds picky but it does make a difference in understanding your post. Southeast Alaska has some areas of very high precipitation, though again with the storm track farther south this winter you may have beaten them too.

  • Jason

    Beautiful sunset over Lake Tahoe. In shaded areas the snowpack is still healthy. Riding up on the Amtrak bus, it was amazing that there wasn’t a whole lot of snow until maybe within less than 10 miles of Echo Summit. Clearly, the Sierra ecosystem is very fragile and warming even a few degrees will make a huge difference in snow cover, evapotranspiration, etc.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b00ec43f34db83421d8b0550ff117183efba9c4c6e54d729b2bd4eca4a20b47.jpg

    • Dan weather maniac

      Amazing pic!

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    how does the increasing angle of the sun effect thunderstorms?

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      I think it warms the ground more than on dead of winter, which causes air to rise. And builds cuminimbus clouds.

      • Rainmaker (San Jose)

        looked up cumulonimbus clouds on google makes more sense. heated air rises carrying water vapor creating the towering clouds and producing instability which we associate with downpours. I wish I can take a meteorology class for my major instead of art for GE. :/

    • Luisto9

      Affect…

      • sezwhom

        In Winter, sun angle energy is weaker and covers much smaller area plus days are much shorter and you lose heat energy fast. When it’s higher, energy is stronger thus concentrates more energy over a smaller area plus lasts longer. Better mechanisms for lift.

      • Pfirman

        Both.

  • alanstorm

    I think one of the main things we will see starting next weekend will be a massive multi-MUDSLIDE situation, esp along thecoastal counties of NorCal.
    Driving down 101 from Mendocino Co to Bay Area, I spotted a dozen or so major slipouts already slipping.
    Forget about Hiway 17!
    Oh, & theres a big one on the south side of 580 between Castro Valley & Dublin.
    They are everywhere, just look up any steep hillside along our cratered freeways.
    The new interchange in my hometown of Willits is a mudslide mess!
    Who knows which saturated hillside is about to spill it’s guts

    • Yeah I was over 17 today. Lexington was maybe a foot below spillway and water/mud still wet on southbound lanes. NB lanes were clear but imposing stuff and huge scars from slides.

  • Forsyth Shizzle

    A gorgeous, gold/orange patch hovers over Santa Barbara on Tuesday according to the 00z.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      But a hour ago, NWS Oxnard wrote that most places won’t even get a quarter inch. Whoops

      • Forsyth Shizzle

        Oxnard appears to suffer from a serotonin-deprived microclimate.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Can anybody explain why the central valley, southern california, and the coast North of eureka gets more thunderstorms then the bay area

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      The cool waters off the coast of the Bay Area make for a relatively stable atmosphere.. along with other factors that make for a more stable atmosphere across the Bay Area.. also lower temps making for less surface heating due to the
      Colder waters and persistent onshore flow.. warmer temps in valleys makes for more sufficient surface heating T fuel T-storm’s along with plant transevaporstuon from agriculture.. and my guess for more thunderstorms across the north coast is because colder air aloft is more common as the north coast of California is at a higher latitude colder air aloft is able to intrude on the north coast more destabilizing the atmosphere causeing more convections during storms than the Bay Area and the terrain helps too..

    • Different reasons in each case. North Coast: primarily due to increased proximity/frequency of cold air aloft during winter. Central Valley: combination of increased surface heating relative to coast, gradual upward slope of topography (micro-version of Great Plains), and local wind influence of topography (favored bands of convergence in specific areas). South Coast: warmer ocean temps and more E-W orientation of coastline relative to further north (makes it easier for prevailing winds to move offshore convection inland).

      • weathergeek100

        Regarding the south coast, wouldn’t the prevailing winds actually make it more difficult for convection to move onshore? I’m referring to the common northwesterly flow we get in the post cold-frontal air mass where thunderstorms are more common and the transverse ranges create a rain shadow preventing them from moving onshore.

    • Luisto9

      Really ?

    • Jim

      To get my lightning fix, I’ve had to go storm chasing in the mid west…we just don’t get enough here as you know !!

    • sezwhom

      Short answer: North Coast, closer to coldest air and core of jet. More in the left exit region.

      The Valley: warmer temps, better lift due to mountains. Much better topography for convergence too. Not moderated by that big body of water to the west.

      SoCal: SST’s run higher so as colder air rides over then lifts of the mts., viola!

    • weathergeek100

      This is a really good question. Looks like you got some good answers below.

    • edchipp

      The situation is quite unique during the summer monsoon season. Thunderstorms regularly hit the mountains and deserts of southern California during July-September. Of course, this is due to the heat and moisture coming in from the southeast; i.e. from Arizona and Mexico. The valleys and coast of SoCal are in the rain shadow of the mountains to the east that time of the year, and for those areas, t-storms can spill over but are infrequent. The monsoonal flow also generally follows the spine of the Sierras and impacts eastern California. Nevada and Utah also get dumped on quite well during the summer monsoon.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    00z for the socal win

  • Thunderstorm

    Not a word about the Peru flooding on this blog. Biggest coastal el-nino there since 1925.

    • Chatman

      Maybe because it’s the California Weather Blog?

      • jstrahl

        But on the other hand, heavy rain in Peru has historically been associated with a wet rainy season later in the year.

        • sezwhom

          It’s all connected.

        • AlTahoe

          Yeah I have been watching that in the news as well and quietly thinking that we may be looking at a 81-82, 82-83 scenario for next year.

          • Charlie B

            That is the best (and almost only) example of two back to back big years on record. Usually a wet year like this if followed by one or more dry ones. Patterns and history are hard to shake. Of course, in prior years we did not have Storm Master® in control.

          • PRCountyNative

            And the idea that all past weather knowledge is out the window with global CO2 reaching new heights?

            The past can no longer predict the future in a changed world?

            What about that minor detail? This isn’t specific to you Charlie, but in general can we look to the past at all any longer?

          • jstrahl

            Good point, not just CO2 but the consequence, totally changed conditions. In fact, there are indications that the ENSO signal is being outweighed by other factors. https://robertscribbler.com/2017/03/16/weird-polar-warming-appears-to-have-made-february-of-2017-the-second-hottest-ever-recorded/

          • Charlie B

            I am not sure how to interpret history, obviously. For instance, there is the puzzle of the submerged forest under Fallen Leaf Lake that some cite as strong evidence of a mega Sierra drought 1,000 or so years ago. I have discussed this with the professor cited in this story (John Kleppe, PhD) and he noted that the type of tree found is no longer found naturally at a 6,000′ elevation, and he said that it meant things were much warmer and drier back then than in recent times. I don’t know whether any of this holds water, but it has prompted me to sent an e mail to Kleppe to see what is up on that front.http://www.hcn.org/issues/44.22/underwater-forest-reveals-the-story-of-a-historic-megadrought

          • Tuolumne

            There is good evidence that the trees didn’t actually grow far under what is now the lake surface, but have instead been carried there: http://californiadiver.com/solving-a-mile-high-mystery-0703/

          • Charlie B

            I saw that too. That is why I am going to reach out to Kleppe. He is a pretty well known guy and I have used him as an expert witness and actually had him as an opposing expert witness as well. Again, as I mention, one thing that is the wild card is the species of tree, which doesn’t seem to be mentioned. I recall Kleppe saying the trees were Ponderosa pines and not Jeffrey pines. Ponderosa pines generally grow at warmer and lower elevations than Jeffrey pines. I could be completely wrong on that one. (I’m also not clear how what largely appears as a standing submerged forest could have been transported there by a landslide but hey, who really knows….)

          • Tuolumne

            Ponderosa pines currently grow along parts of the immediate shoreline of Lake Tahoe and hybridize with the Jeffrey pines there. (The first time I personally recognized a hybrid of the two was at Tahoe City as a teenager.)

            The distribution of the two species in California can be seen at https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_rp082/psw_rp082.pdf (pages 86 and 91 in the original document). According to that document, ponderosa pine does not occur at or close by Fallen Leaf Lake, but it wouldn’t take much warming (fraction of a degree) for it to be there which is quite plausible for the past.

            Our current forest tree distributions are in part relicts of the Little Ice Age (LIA) (1300-1850) and should not be assumed to be in equilibrium with the climate of today,
            or that of 70-90 years ago when the vegetation type mapping was done (page 5). The climate 900-1200 years ago (the common age range of the trees in the lake as per my previous link) was warmer than during the LIA so it’s plausible that ponderosa pine grew at Fallen Leaf Lake during that time.

            So how would climate change since the end of the LIA affect the Jeffrey pines at Fallen Leaf Lake?

            Tree ranges could shrink quickly during warming or cooling periods due to trees dying off from adverse conditions. In contrast, expansion of tree species into newly suitable areas is usually going to be much slower because most tree seeds don’t spread very far and it takes decades for a tree to produce offspring. This is one reason why rapid climate change tends to be bad news for forests – they just don’t move very fast.

            Jeffrey pine is competitively excluded by ponderosa pine in the latter’s strongholds even though it’s quite heat and drought resistant. As an example, Jeffrey pine grows on scattered areas of serpentine soils (where ponderosas can’t grow) in the lower forest belt in the Sierra, while next door ponderosa pines grow on normal soils with no Jeffries.

            So a little warming from ~1850 (end of the LIA) to 1928-1940 (field surveys for vegetation type maps) was not going to wipe out Jeffrey pines at the lower edge of their elevation range within forested parts of the Sierra. On the other hand, if current climate stayed the same for a while then maybe ponderosa pine would become more widespread in the Tahoe Basin, including Fallen Leaf Lake.

            *

          • Charlie B

            Good info! I did send an email to Kleppe this am on these subjects. My knowledge of Ponderosa v Jeffreys is based mostly on what I remember my dad telling me about it. His PhD was in plant geography (essentially spatial botany) and for years our family owned a tree farm on the north side of the American river across from Fresh Pond (it is on the map as “Indian Hatties.”) The elevation was 3800′ with a southern exposure (broiling in summer) and the predominate species, by far, was Ponderosas. There were a few Sugar Pines, together with Incense Cedars and Douglas Firs in wetter cooler draws. When I was a wee lad he used to explain to me that why Ponderosas grew at our place and Jeffreys grew higher up. He also told me how to tell the difference between the two. That was obviously simple explanation for a simple mind. Anyway, I wish my dad was still around to weigh in on all this stuff. It is in his wheelhouse, and he would be a Weather West stalwart. Here’s a link to what he did and wrote about, although later publications and articles are not mentioned. A lot of his stuff is down at the Berkeley Bancroft Library and one of these years I have to go down there to take a look at it.http://geog.berkeley.edu/ProjectsResources/Publications/60YrsGeog/Burcham,%20Levi.htmlhttp://www.oac.cdlib.org/search?style=oac4;titlesAZ=l;idT=UCb11295750x

          • Tuolumne

            Thanks for the info, Charlie. I only have a Master’s in geography but like your father I studied plant geography. I especially studied the past distributions of conifers in and near California.

            Unfortunately the link is dead and the Internet Archive doesn’t have that page.

          • Charlie B

            T, I had a long talk with Kleppe, the prime author of the paper on the trees at FLL. He is aware of the landslide theory. He gave me a long story of why it was debunked early on, then resurfaced, so to speak, by the diver. Research showed no landslides to speak of (big enough to transport trees) in the lake for the past 4k years. The diver guy used some sort of submarine that goes down to 90′ with no real scientific equipment on it other than a video camera. He was offered a ride in the thing and he declined because it just seemed dangerous. He also noted that his video equipment goes down to lake bottom…more than 400′. He also noted that FLL has a “leak” in it that causes it to drain 10500af into Tahoe every year, and not through Taylor Creek. He said that he has documented a clear “shoreline” in FLL at 130′ below current surface, and believes that FLL is highly sensitive to drought, much more so than Tahoe. He lost me on how exactly. He also noted the root issue and explained that 75 years ago, someone built a little retention dam on the lake that raised the level 3′. That killed many trees. People came along and cut them off, leaving only stumps. He said those stumps look almost exactly like the base of the old submerged trees. Basically, he just said that the landslide theory has been debunked many times over. On the tree species issue, he said they were yellow pines, which by definition encompass both Ponderosa and Jeffrey pines. I sent a follow up question to him on that.
            Anyway, interesting guy. He is finishing up a peer reviewed paper on sunspot cycles and climate. He said it will be controversial because he is one of the few climate scientists with and electrical engineering background. He can get away with it due to his Emeritus status, I guess. I know that Daniel has said the sunspot theory has been debunked, but he said as an EE he has a different take on the issue and energy transfers. We shall see, I suppose. He said a few other things regarding the state of science that I will refrain from repeating, because some might label me something I am not.

          • Tuolumne

            Thanks for the explanations. The leak out of the lake would explain how the lake could be more sensitive to drought than most Sierra lakes and could drop way down in that event.

          • Charlie B

            I wish the link to my dad had worked. You can google “Levi T Burcham” and maybe add botanist, geographer or Berkeley and find his stuff. He passed away in 1987. I always knew that he was pretty well known in his little area of interest, but recently I have found that he remains rather well known in his field. He was an air photo interpreter during WW2 (Captain, USMC) and last year I got a call out of the blue from a military historian at the Marine Corps University. He was doing a case study on a battle on, I think, New Britain, and my dad came up. It seems that he was strongly advocating a landing in a certain area but command disagreed and they landed elsewhere, with bad results. My dad was outspoken and apparently used photo and other evidence to prove again his point after the fact. The historian asked whether my dad had field notes or diaries of his service and whether he ever talked about his experience. I had to explain that he didn’t talk much about the war (which resulted in a loss of a lung and full military disability) and his notes were carted off by men in bark suits and thin ties after he passed. Anyway, he was an interesting guy.

          • CHeden

            IMHO,
            No.
            And it’s not just the CO2.
            For example, the Earth’s albedo must have changed a great deal over the decades due to changes in the opacity of our oceans and ice cover.

          • jstrahl

            There is ’72-3 and ’73-4, in which case the El Nino one came first.

          • Charlie B

            That is interesting….according to the WRCC stuff on Tahoe City they get 190″ a year (that average has been dropping.) But according to those stats, TC received 163″ in 1972-73 and 176″ in 1973-74.

          • jstrahl

            That notion indeed crossed my mind.

          • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

            How did SLT lake level do in that 82/83 El Niño as far as average freezing level for the big storms?

          • Charlie B

            Tahoe City gets 190″ per year (current average…has been dropping.) in 1981-82 they got 257″ and during the El Nino year of 1982-83 they saw 223″. I would thing there were lots of storms that year with elevated snow levels based on that….

        • Thunderstorm

          Correct you are. The active phase of the MJO this mid April should kick start the next el-nino. If the MJO produces warm strong storms in mid April then California will have serious problems.

  • jstrahl

    Thanks once again, Daniel. perfectly timed concise and broadly accessible analysis.

  • jstrahl

    Interesting , 3rd day in a row that the 18Z broke with trends and downgraded the forecast, only to be reversed by the 00Z.

    • It may not be initalizing a few measurements or could be a delay in getting them when model is run. Or pure coincidence. Or it’s the 00Z that’s off for same reasons 🙂

      • jstrahl

        Except the 00Z fits with the other runs, vs the 18Z.

  • Boots

    “I will eventually have a more comprehensive post focused on the possible causes of California’s reversal in fortune this year, along with some thoughts regarding why such an anomalously wet winter was essentially unanticipated.” There was one who anticipated this wet winter, and he happens to be a contributor on this blog. John Curtis, father of the Coastal Fog Theory.

    • sectionmaker

      What is the Coastal Fog theory? I found some links to here, but cant find the post..(jan 10th mentioned) thanx a bunch…

      • PRCountyNative

        It’s a theory based on repeated direct local observation. In this day and age, it requires an active discounting of what is being forecast, and reported.

        It requires an open mind, awareness of one’s surroundings, the ability to be present in the moment, and think.

        JC can fill you in on the details, apologies if I’ve mischaracterized CFT.

      • John Curtis

        Essentially, fall and summer fog in Southern California indicate a dynamic atmosphere, as opposed to a stagnant one, and a likely precursor to a wet winter.

        • sectionmaker

          hmm thank you.. I live near the the coast south of SB, fog is a very regular part of life. June Gloom, Gray May, and nothing rhymes with April, but I’ve trying as April also gets prettty wet here, fog wise.
          Past week was dripping March fog. I “seem” to remember fog bringing on an active hurricane season, but that link does not seem to hold since the 80’s.

    • ben

      BA on open snow called it 2 years ago. As the godzilla of an el nino was begining to take shape, the hypesters were calling for big snow. BA cautioned that not all el ninos deliver, but a likely flip to la nina the following year would have a better chance to deliver the goods.

      • SloTruckeeJohn

        You are correct! Back in early January I reminded BA of that prediction of which he was cautious to reply as it was too early in the season. But now the goods have been delivered!

        • ben

          Its the details that no one could pedict, such as soo much rain even up high. He just called the above avg snow based on historical data that strong el ninos are often followed by strong la ninas that consistently deliver to tahoe i think. This was a weak la nina that fizzled. If this developing el nino breaks through, i call large surf and disapearing beaches 17/18, big snows 18/19.

    • CHeden

      Just in case anyone is interested, The “Coastal Fog Theory” is one of the oldest and one of the more pervasive of the many San Francisco weather “lore’s” . As a wee lad, my Father who was a native son, frequently mentioned that a cool, foggy Summer portended a wetter Winter. Then, there was an article in the Chronicle ( I think…it may have been the Examiner) that talked about the same myth, and produced about 50 years of June – October temperature data from Mission Dolores that showed there really wasn’t that many years with less fog and appreciably warmer temps than normal, but during those rare years when the fog was minimal, 2 years wound up with higher rain totals, 1 was much below normal, and 3 were near normal.
      On a technical level, the cool Summer/wet Winter scenario just doesn’t fly as far as many El Nino years are concerned (but not all…witness 2015-16)), since offshore waters are generally warmer than usual, hence the land-sea pressure gradient is reduced (i.e. Summer seabreeze). Plus, the fog itself is limited since it takes colder water offshore to help condense moisture out of the SW flow.
      A good example was the Summer leading up to the 1997-’98 SEN. That Summer was easily the warmest I ever experienced while living in the Bay Area as nearby SST’s neared/topped 70F with the ocean sea-life thrown into chaos (which I actually did several write-ups on). Then, we all know what happened during that Winter.

      • Charlie B

        Last weekend I was down in Half Moon Bay. I was drug into a curio shop by my wife. As she was finding all kinds of things that she never knew she couldn’t live without, I chatted with the owner. She lived in HMB for 40 years, raising her family there. When the nest was empty she “fled the fog.” After 5 years she returned in 2011. Her comment to me was “it’s much less foggy here than it used to be.” I doubt the stats show that, but it was interesting and somewhat consistent with the 4 year drought. I should have asked about last summer but I went next door and had an IPA and warm pretzel with mustard and beer cheese dipping sauce.

        • ben

          The past few summers have been less foggy here in arcata.

          • CHeden

            Thanks for the input!
            Out of curiosity, of what fog you did get… was it generally low/on-the-ground type type stuff, or was the fog slightly higher up than usual?
            Also, did the fog dissipate earlier or later in the day than usual?
            These are some valuable local clues that I’m quite interested in.

          • ben

            I live a couple hundred meters from the beach and the ACV airport, and the marine layer type fog seamed to have a hard time pushing past even as far inland as arcata. I spent the summer of 2000 in arcata and vowed to never do it again. The sun burned through for an hour or two a day, but by 3-4pm was socked in again. The past 3 summers have been likely at least half as foggy. The redwood forest has seamed drier too, as it rains inside on heavy fog days but havnt really experienced that recently. Whats the significance in the larger climate picture?

          • CHeden

            The possible significance is based on a working theory of mine that as the upper atmosphere warms, it’s helping confine things like fog and moisture to lower altitudes (i.e. pseudo capping). It’s interesting you noted that the characteristics of the fog seem to indicate a shallower but denser/wetter stratus field…which (perhaps coincidentally) is what I was noting in Pacifica during many of my recent trips back down there in the last few years. As recently as just last week, there was a shallow layer groundfog bank…maybe only 150-200′ high that crept in through the Golden Gate. While not so unusual in Sept. and Oct., as the typical summertime inversion layer collapses, I don’t recall ever seeing these type of ground fogs in early Spring.
            If one were extrapolate this atmospheric setup to the Winter-time, then moisture/precip would tend to be confined nearer the coast, with a trend of increased rainshadowing on the leeward side of the hills…which is what the recent years have been featuring up your way.
            Anyway, thanks fer the additional info, and much appreciated for the commentary.

          • ben

            Thanks. I too noted the summer time like fog last week here and thought it strange. If the fog bank is thinner, that could explain why its unable to push inland. I wonder how well the redwoods will handle such a change as its my understanding that the summer fog sustains them. Besides hourly weather observation data, how else could a long term trend in fog be quantified?

          • CHeden

            Good question.
            In today’s world, we directly measure insolar radiation which takes into account if fog and/or clouds is present as well as the approximate opaqueness. In the way-back days, there was only eye-witness and subjective commentary by long-time residents. That’s why I was so interested in your first-hand observations and impressions.

          • ben

            Burns off sooner. Not low on the ground but the proper fog bank, seemed to hover at the beach or just offshore.

        • CHeden

          Since I moved away from Pacifica in 2005, I cannot confirm what the fog has been like down in HMB. But my suspicion is that fog prevalence is closely tied to the offshore SST’s, which for the most part have been 2-3F warmer than in decades past.

      • Yolo Hoe

        You are of course referring to CFTv1 — my understanding is that JC and his team have quietly re-worked the algorithms and the resulting CFTv2 product is the engine that delivered this year’s bullseye.

        Seriously, thanks for digging up that fog ‘theory’ history. Along with its geography, geology and history since European contact, the California climate and weather interplay are endlessly fascinating.

        • CHeden

          Keep in mind, there were several WW posters (me included) that started recognizing certain Epac patterns that suggested at the very least a more “normal”..ie. wetter Winter was in the offing way back in early Fall of 2016.
          While I can’t speak for the others, I did not use coastal fog as a basis for my thinking, but rather an analysis of the atmospheric setups and general common-sense trends/ observations (plus more than a bit of real-life experience).

          • Yolo Hoe

            Ha — indeed — and I do reference your ‘summer trofing’ as the one that caught my attention before the rains began — and also kept me doubting the CFSv2. There is a significant discussion to be had this summer after the jet shifts north!!

          • CHeden

            Hopefully there will still be some climatologists employed after the coming Gov’t-driven gutting to help drive the discussion!

      • John Curtis

        Sorry Chris. My theory deals with Southern California and is not necessarily based on the number of fog days but rather the number of troughs that move in the fog. For instance, we have the so cal eddy, which is not from the broadscale pacific troughing that drives the John Curtis coastal fog theory. The repeated troughs suggest a dynamic and moving Pacific atmosphere whereas a hot and fogless summer along the coast suggests a stagnant atmosphere that will drag into winter.

        • CHeden

          Thanks for the clarification.
          While far from being an expert on the SoCal Wx micro-climate, I think there is some merit to what you’re driving at. In a way, I think your theory complements that of other posters in SoCal that have anecdotally correlated short-lived/repeated Santa Ana’s to upcoming disturbances. Both on/off Santa Ana’s and fog appearing/disappearing would indicate (to me, anyway) a progressive macro-scale pattern is present which is generally a good thing for future storms and AR’s to ride in on.

  • Rik

    Doesn’t the 1861-62 rmegaflood exceed this year for precipitation?

    • Tuolumne

      But statewide data of even moderate resolution are not available that far back, especially for mountain areas.

    • Charlie B

      Data points were limited them. Still I was surprised that wasn’t mentioned.

    • sezwhom

      Very few accurate records were kept or let’s face it, some were probably washed away. Here’s one though:

      The rainy season commenced on the 8th of November, and for four weeks, with scarcely any intermission, the rain continued to fall very gently in San Francisco, but in heavy showers in the interior. According to the statement of a Grass Valley paper, nine inches of rain fell there in thirty-six hours on the 7th and 8th

      • Tuolumne

        Then there’s the famous report of 100″ of rain in Sonora that January.

      • Rik

        From the book “The West without Water”:
        During the winter of 1861-62:
        66 inches of rain fell in Los Angeles
        More than 9 feet of rain fell in Nevada City
        San Francisco, Sacramento, and Stocton each received almost 4 times their 1850-2003 annual average rainfall.

  • Pfirman

    Happy pre-Vernal Equinox everybody.

  • Jason

    Snowpack in the Carson Range by Gardnerville, NV looks healthy. But the desert is right there. It sure does dry out quickly even in this robust water year.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e817ff90762cd3e50cf68c1f5640e491553e54bcd74fd81979fdc3b0e603752f.jpg

    • Tuolumne

      But the bottoms of those desert valleys, like the Carson Valley above, get well watered by Sierra runoff in average or better years. Watch for the lower areas to get wetter again once the spring snowmelt really gets going.

    • Charlie B

      The Carson Valley gets about 8″ of precipitation a year in the middle of it where this pic was taken. Those mountains probably get 40″ or so.

  • DelMarSD

    Recent model runs show San Diego getting over an inch on Tuesday/Wednesday. That would be great. Still lots of uncertainty, but the potential is there for greater amounts, since there will be a strong subtropical tap. Will be interesting to keep an eye on this in future model runs. Especially the 2nd shortwave on Wednesday, as recent runs have been trending wetter with this feature.

  • DelMarSD

    Pretty green fields. I love those purple flowers. The upcoming storms will keep them nice and green for a little while longer.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/454f3df3e928c96d75aaade541802ed26353b7828e2258ccf77cb7f444ec3973.jpg

  • Utrex

    EHI index (enhanced helicity index) is showing +1.00 numbers for the valley Tuesday 5:00 P.M. EHI measures supercellular / tornadic environments. Here is the 0-3km version of the EHI. This version depicts environments that support the possibility of supercells. There is also 0-1km version of the EHI that narrows the environment down to support tornadoes.

    http://www.twisterdata.com/data/models/nam/221/maps/2017/03/19/12/NAM_221_2017031912_F60_EHI_3000_M.png

    • sezwhom

      Texas Panhandle into OK look sweet.

      • Utrex

        It certainly seems dangerous, fortunately there’s a huge cap of warm air on that day inhibiting any development

    • alanstorm

      Nothing to do Tues. I could make that drive via 20 to Williams & into the heart of that green in 90 minutes

  • CHeden

    A few musings on a cloudy Sunday morning….
    Based on what I’ve read and come to understand, in our hemisphere, the previous/old “generally accepted” GW solutions all depicted rapidly declining Arctic sea-ice from GW, with the associated sea-atmosphere teleconnection setting up high pressure (blocking) in the EPac with precip anomalies along the entire west coast of NA, getting progressively more severe the farther south you go.
    This thinking has gradually been shifting however, with several recent scholarly papers (including Daniel’s et al) suggesting a more boom-or-bust pattern, which when averaged over a long enough period of time results in near normal rain totals.

    Now that the areal sea-ice coverage has reached record-low levels, we are just now getting our first real glimpses (with hard data) as to what actually occurs resulting from large-amplitude changes in the Arctic and elsewhere around the Globe,….and what we’re seeing is not what the global climate model’s had been suggesting…especially for our West Coast.

    I fully realize that during the last two years we are likely experiencing a outlier pattern(s) and it would be foolish to make any firm statements based on only 1-2 years worth of anecdotal evidence….but it’s just too hard to ignore just how badly our seasonal climate prediction methods are currently performing….even on a macro-scale….and at some point either we invest the necessary $$$ to expand and improve our data-gathering process and computing power/algorithms, etc.to make LR forecasting more viable, or cease releasing to the general populace these often misleading seasonal (and monthly) forecasts.
    It is my fear that these continual failings by the LR climate models are in fact becoming a poster-child for the climate neigh-sayers who claim the whole business of GW/AGW impacts is a pile of hooey (which it is NOT) since we cannot predict with any confidence what the general Wx will be even 30 days out….let alone decades from now.
    Or, to put it another way, what’s the point of throwing bullets at a madman who’s on a shooting spree??

    And lastly and very much IMHO, given the current political situation in Washington, we in California are at a dire crossroad in our ability to prepare for a new world climate (remember California is the 6th largest economy in the world)…and as such, California has a vested interest in providing the leadership and financial resources that will be required to upgrade our predictive and observational data to the point of making pertinent/cost effective long-term infrastructure and sustainability plans.
    When one considers the billions and billions of dollars we will be spending in the next decade (hopefully) and beyond to shore up our crumbling infrastructure, then we damn-well should have the money (and incentive) to utilize our world-class academia and private tech in providing new data and improved methods for improved California climate prediction.

    • Dan weather maniac

      Nicely thought out perspective.

    • Rio Rat

      Thanks CHeden, your posts are always food for thought. If nothing else our future weather will be very interesting. A little off topic but did you see Howard Goodmans post on most rain in Ca this season with over 175 inches in a place called Rag Dump.His first post on WW, & on Sat night a bit odd to me. What’s your take on the big dump at Rag Dump?

      • CHeden

        Well, Bucks Lake and Davis lake each have had ~ 130″ of rain, and given the extreme orographics that the Feather River drainage area is famous for, a localized spot like Rag Dump could have indeed seen 175″. But, I would still like to check the data measurement method(s) used. A backyard bucket would be suspect, for example.

        • Howard Goodman

          And Four Trees not far from Bucks Lake has over 140 and it was broken for awhile so probably got more

          • Craig Matthews

            Incredible amount..175″ is the highest amount I’ve heard yet for the state. My dad has property in Oroville and up a little ways above a place called Brush Creek(he just purchased it). So I am eager to activate a weather station up there. That place is known to get a lot of precip. Is Brush Creek is close to you?

          • Howard Goodman

            I’m on the other side of the feather River canyon above Pulga at 4 K feet Brush Creek gets a lot of rain they are probably over 100 inches as the crow flys Brush creek is 15 t0 20 miles

          • Howard Goodman

            The four Trees weather Station is maybe 8 miles above you they have 140 right now

          • Howard Goodman

            now at 143.4

          • Howard Goodman
        • Howard Goodman

          For along time I’ve compared my rainfall to Four Trees I’ve consistently gotten 25 % more than it does

    • Yolo Hoe

      Outstanding — CHeden for president!!

      Seriously, your last sentence is a crucial one that needs to be more thoughtfully and explicitly considered by our state leaders going forward. It’s astonishing how much capability and capacity in the form of our academic/industry nexus is ignored. We shouldn’t be leaving that kind of money on the table, especially as it relates to knowledge advancement and innovation potential directly related to our current and future weather and climate scenarios given their inextricable link with the state’s economy.

      • CHeden

        Very well put, my friend.
        Couldn’t agree more.

        • Chris Kiely

          I agree. I remember in the late 70s, when the Federal government was gutting NASA and the Aerospace industry. Governor Brown suggested that California save & exploit its existing aerospace industry by establishing its own space program. He was ridiculed. The State (and the world) might be a lot different if something like that had happened.

          So maybe this idea is our second chance. Let climate and weather issues be our new space program. Not to make political points, or to have a better “take” than the nay-sayers.

          Instead, do it to follow the data and push the science in a way that isn’t being done right now.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Very interesting read as usual all your posts are interesting. I am probably one of those guys who does think all the LR forecasting its a lot of hooey and wish they would invest $$ elsewhere. As far as your statement “or cease releasing to the general populace these often misleading seasonal (and monthly) forecasts.” I completely agree with you on this. There needs to be some acknowledgement by the so-called climatologists that these things are flawed and meaningless at this point. My gosh what happened with this year as an abomination in re: to the LR forecasts. Month after month it was wrong, dead wrong in fact, not even close to what actually transpired. It will be interesting to see what Daniel has to say about this as he eluded to on his well written blog update yesterday.

      • CHeden

        Appreciate yer feedback. But I want to make something perfectly clear:
        I am NOT, under any circumstances, advocating that our attempts to gain a better understanding of our present and future climate is a waste of time and/or resources.
        Just because the complexities in understanding our climate are indeed daunting, that does not mean the task is “impossible”.
        What I am advocating though, is that we as a society (even at the state level) adopt a more “can do” attitude, instead of an ostrich approach, and dedicate something else besides lip-service to help California prepare for a different/changing world. Remember, the weather knows no political boundaries, or how much money is being spent/lost arguing about it….the weather will do whatever the laws of physics dictate.
        Either we learn how to better cope with whatever is in store for us, or lest we just become another “victim”.
        Case in point is the recent Oroville crisis. As bad as it was/is financially, it is only by the grace of God (or some other miracle) that kept 200,00 people out of harms way. Can you imagine the cost to the state if the e-spillway did indeed fail? I would imagine we could re-build the dam for a fraction of the estimated billions of dollars of damage and loss of life that could have occurred.

        Personally, I’ll take intelligent preparedness over a never-ending battle against shortsightedness any day.

    • kelpking (Linda mar Pacifica )

      I always enjoy reading your posts. My problem with agw is the proposed solutions right now. Instead of taxes they need to give credits to the average person for making the right decisions. Allow for composting toilets in the building codes. Develop more local cogeneration power that utilizes waste heat. I am not a denier but if these hypocrites want to tax me and my family more, while reducing our freedom and consolidating the UNs control of our sovereign nation. This is not the way to get the other half to cooperate.

      • CHeden

        Actually, I received a substantial $$$ incentive in the form of tax reductions by installing solar….i.e. not a dime extra out of my pocket for doing my part in going green. Cleaning up the mess we’ve created is going to cost money….it always does. That’s why future mistakes MUST be foreseen and avoided…and is why a pro-active approach to improving climate prediction is an absolute must.

        • Charlie B

          Did you follow what happened over here in Nevada last year? I recall that the state was trying to kill subsidies and other incentives for residential solar at the urging of NV Energy which is owed by Berkshire Hathaway Energy which is controlled by you know who…I don’t know how it turned out.

          • matthew

            Very familiar with solar in Nevada. For all practical purposes the state PUC shut down the distributed solar in the state last year. It was not by “killing subsidies” but putting the most restrictive solar program in the country in place which killed any reasonable ROI for the average customer. Don’t want to bore you with the details, but just about every solar installation company that I know of shut their doors in the state.

          • Charlie B

            A very wise move for the driest and sunniest state in the union. But we might get an NFL team!!!!

          • matthew

            Nevada – the best government that money can buy.

          • ben

            Black rock solar, a non profit, just put up their last panels last week.

          • whisperingsage

            Really!!! Nooo.

          • Pfirman

            Arizona is hot on their heels, but there is a little more resistance from the populace.

          • CHeden

            Heard something about it, but didn’t follow up the story.
            Doesn’t surprise me, though. Nevada is such a hot-bed of economic prosperity, costs for energy don’t matter.
            LoL, of course.

      • matthew

        Look into the carbon fee and dividend proposal. Basically it puts a price on carbon at the source (mine, wellhead, etc.) in order to price it into the cost of a product, thus influencing your purchase decision. The revenue from the fee is then refunded to everyone so that it stays as close to revenue neutral as possible. So no cost to you (almost) but higher carbon content products will cost more as opposed to “cleaner” alternatives.

    • So are you saying models that incorporate sea ice and increasing CO2 are poster childs for deniers because the forecasts are wrong?

      I’m recovering from yesterday and I’m not sure when I’m lucid right now. Not questioning what you are saying…just need some clarification because my comprehension has always been poor.

      • CHeden

        No, I’m saying that in the last two years, the model’s oceanic-atmospheric coupling predictions appear to be failing in regards to resolving/adapting to the impacts of these (and other) variables. As we’ve seen, what goes on halfway around the world, or up in the Arctic, can have serious consequences for us in California. Without the necessary data to improve the credibility of simple monthly forecasts, then we are left with simple scientific consensus regarding the future impacts of GW..and therefore open for skepticism and denialist counter-arguments.

        • Pfirman

          Nice that you post this and along comes Jash, heh.

  • Thunderstorm

    Just read section 37 on the Oroville Dam blog site. The bottom of the spillway has had bolts drilled into the base rock through the concrete. Should help with the Venturi Principal. All the cracks have also been filled in the spillway.

  • Sublimesl

    Thunderstorms on Wed? Says so on my iPhone.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Looking like a real thunderstorm threat for So Cal if the forecast holds. Higher sun angle and longer days should help as well.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We are due for some late winter / early spring thunderstorm activity as there has been very little in terms of thunderstorm activity in coastal Orange / Los Angeles counties since the fall.

      • DelMarSD

        Here there hasn’t been much thunderstorm activity (real thunderstorms with lightning), but there has been lots of heavy cells and convective squall lines with very heavy rain.

      • mattzweck

        we better get t-storms this year. last year nothing. i’m hoping for a good spring and a good summer this year here high deserts Lancaster/ palmdale area.

  • Charlie B

    March 16, 1952:
    STORM CLOSES 40 AND 50! A new storm sweeping down from the Aleutian Islands poured more rain into the saturated Sacramento Valley today and brought blizzards to the Sierra Nevada. Constable Harry Johanson of Tahoe City reported that it has been constantly snowing for the past 4 days and the snow depth in his town has reached 12.5′ (150 inches). In Homewood, there is 14′ of snow on the ground. The weight of snow on roofs has crushed numerous summer homes in the area.

  • Charlie B

    March 19, 1952.
    STORM ISOLATES SIERRA; RECORDS OF 1907 AND 1911 FALL. Norden has received 43″ of snow since yesterday, bringing the total on the ground to 308″. This beats the previous record of 305″, set in 1907 and tied in 1911. [In 2017 there is 123″ at the snow lab this morning.] Record breaking snow blasted the Sierra with gale force winds up to 75 mph. The intensity of this storm exceeds the one in January that stranded the streamliner City of San Francisco for 4 days near Emigrant Gap. Portola recorded 23″ or new snow, Westwood 29″ and Truckee 24″. Truckee now has 12′ on the level. Tahoe City received 3′ overnight on top of 12′ already on the ground. 125 people are stranded at a resort near June Lake by snow and slides. High pressure is building in, and this will bring improving conditions tomorrow after more snow tonight. Pressures are falling over the ocean and another train of storms may be forming out there. Continued cold.
    In a story “stranger than most science fiction novels,” scientists reported that 5 monkeys had a rocket flight last week. The monkeys, which were sedated with morphine and slept through the flight, were launched on a V2 rocket that reached an altitude of 80 miles. Unfortunately, 4 of the monkeys perished immediately when capsule crashed in the New Mexico desert after the parachute failed to deploy properly. The 5th survived the crash but died shortly thereafter after failing to regain consciousness.
    In other news, the military reports that fighter pilots might soon fly prone and hunt foes with periscopes and mirrors.

    • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

      Poor monkeys. 🙁

  • DelMarSD

    NWS SD:

    Regarding the Tuesday/Wednesday storm.

    “Generous PW values exceeding
    1.25 inch, good dynamics, and cold air aloft should set the stage
    for some locally heavy showers/tstms. The various model runs and
    solutions have not been in sync with QPF and timing due to how the
    upper support tracks, so considerable uncertainty remains.

    In terms of potential, it appears the 12Z GFS/NAM depictions are
    best. Both show pockets of total QPF well over one inch. The 12Z
    WRFEMS is also quite wet, especially across the San Bernardino Mts.
    These display potential at this point.

    Given the potential jet dynamics, cold air, and PW advertised by the
    GFS/NAM12 models, the higher QPF looks reasonable. These larger
    values look especially plausible with convection. Stability
    parameters suggest there will be a few thunderstorms.”

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It would be nice to get some heavier showers with decent totals into Socal, in order to keep things greened up going into the spring.

  • What’s the link or site where some of you post that satellite image showing convection by looking at the satellite?

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Did Peru see anomolous rains in the el Niño last year? I wonder if we get a weaker el Niño by measure this year but stronger by effect. In relation to California weather that is.

      • Rio Rat

        Just read a article saying parts of Peru have been under severe drought for several yrs, with wildfires raging drought area just 2 months ago.Now having the most devastating downpours in decades. Yikes

        • Charlie B

          Parts of Peru including Lima are about as dry as they come. Lima hardly gets any real rain, just some fog drip. When they do get rain, watch out.

    • CHeden

      Any idea if these rains are related to the same pattern that brought the extreme heat / fires to Chile earlier this year?

    • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

      whats not get ahead of self here

      • Charlie B

        Well said. I think I agre wholeheartedly!

      • Jim

        I find it funny that you would say that….you do realize thats what Daniel and many others in his field do right ? They look at things like to this and see if they are tied to future changes…he did end the sentence with a “?”….

    • max

      Daniel. Regarding the Peru situation. Can you go back and find the Climate Models that were in place, in that Hemisphere, prior to this current weather situation? What they may have predicted, versus what has been occurring? Looks like their current conditions were similar to the events anticipated for our El Nino for winter 2016.. ? We had the same warm water conditions, but the positions of the Highs and lows may have been the difference. Be interesting to compare them . Thanks

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Thunderstorms have been forecasted for me Tuesday, Tuesday night and Wednesday, let’s see if they can get 1 out of the about 20 times they have forecasted thunderstorms correct

  • tomocean
    • CHeden

      Got the same up here now in Cottonwood, No convection associated with these, though. Just some alto-Cu as seen from the bottom.

  • mattzweck

    here in the high desert/Lancaster area partly cloudy. And 84f out. Little breezy. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e79c6be7fb780966453138f4bb95804ba2a3ec10ac632faa9e64335e68803327.jpg

  • DelMarSD

    18z GFS looks sweet. More rain for SD county than previous runs, especially along the coast. Excited for Wednesday!

    • Craig Matthews

      Excited for you guys down there.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Wow. Oxnard NWS is coming in much wetter with the incoming systems for Tues through Wed. Another oddity is the Wed “impulse” seems to impact the southern areas of SoCal more than the north. Also, with “boomers” in the forecast.

    AFD (excerpts):

    Storm total precipitation through Tuesday night generally shows one half to one inch from the coast to the mountains…with 0.10 to 0.30 for the interior deserts.

    By Wednesday morning another wave rotates up from the southwest…bringing another shot of rainfall to the area. This impulse has the potential to bring up to 0.50 inches of rain to LA County…up to 0.20 to Ventura and lesser amounts north of Point Conception. Instability associated with this wave will bring a slight chance of thunderstorms to the area again…this time to LA and Ventura Counties.

    • DelMarSD

      Nice.

    • redlands

      bring some rain to Redlands, Ca — season basically ended in feb 2017

    • rainingonmycactus

      Good sign if Oxnard is that optimistic. Hoping for some good t-storms this week!

  • AlTahoe
    • Pfirman

      Crazy cloud of the lenticular stripe.

  • Phil Johnson

    Just what Boulder Creek needs, but we all and my now-mossless cat thank you for your energy, insight and accuracy for all concerned. We are at 106″ and holding.

  • Jash

    “Causes of California drought linked to climate change, Stanford scientists say
    The extreme atmospheric conditions associated with California’s crippling drought are far more likely to occur under today’s global warming conditions than in the climate that existed before humans emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases.

    Associate Professor Noah Diffenbaugh and graduate student Daniel Swain explain the ‘ridiculously resilient ridge’ and its role in the California drought.
    The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are “very likely” linked to human-caused climate change, Stanford scientists write in a new research paper.”

    Try again.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Try again? So you disagree? What’s your take on the CA drought? Will it return?

      • Charlie B

        It will return. It always has and always will. Unless someone pushes the red button and then all bets are off.

      • Jash

        Drought does not equal climate change.

        You look foolish when you say that, although it’s clear the point is lost on you.

        • CHeden

          Melting of 8,000 year old ice does.
          Melting permafrost exposing mammoth bones frozen 10,000 years ago does.
          Disappearing glaciers that have persisted through several ice ages and interglacials does.
          Only a fool would disregard such compelling evidence….but then again……

        • thebigweasel

          Daniel Swain has never said drought equals climate change.
          You can’t do a convincing job of gainsaying the man when you don’t even know what he said.

          • Sfedblog

            Well, many including him have maintained that the recent drought is likely AWG caused. That very well may be the case, but as he said it is only “very likely”.

          • thebigweasel

            No. Daniel, among others, has said that climate change may have played a role in the severity of the drought, but nobody at any time has said it caused the drought.

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

          ? George Carlin

          So I’ll stop here… I don’t want to be beaten by an “expert” with experience.

          • Sfedblog

            Jash has not claimed to be an expert. All he’s done is question in a few words whether drought equates to climate change. This conversation has verged into cyberbullying. Everyone is an idiot who doesn’t agree with you, climatologists included.

    • There’s actually quite a bit of evidence that California will see more of both droughts and floods in a warming climate–which the last few years exemplifies.

      I did previously write a blog post on the paper in question:
      http://weatherwest.com/archives/1797

      and a separate one on the follow-up paper:
      http://weatherwest.com/archives/3996

      and will write a third this summer based on research that’s still in progress.

      That doesn’t mean that California didn’t see droughts and floods before humans started influencing the climate, nor does it mean that all future droughts and floods will be “caused” by climate change. But the odds are definitely shifting as a result of human activities–that much has become pretty clear.

      • This person isn’t worth engaging, clearly the type to say you’re wrong and offer no reasons, rationale, or is willing to pick up the facts and apply them. Years of reading your work makes the viewpoints abundantly clear, the new normal is a series of increasingly changing modulations in amplitude compared to a formerly more moderate climactic regime. But that sentence might have lost those people in the weeds 🙂

        • Jash

          Real men admit when they’re wrong.

          Thanks for the personal attacks, you’ve shown your true nature.

          • RandomTreeInSB

            I think you missed the point. He never predicted that CA will be stuck in permanent drought, the paper published last year clearly states that the State will experience wider swing of precipitation extremes in the future, that is both drought and floods.

          • So, if I’m reading your drivel correctly, Daniel is wrong because we had a wet year? You remind me of 45, who says AGW is fake because it’s cold out. Crawl back into whatever cave you came from as your nonsense isn’t welcome. Please lay out your well supported factually based argument saying the RRR or something like it ISN’T going to come back and hammer us? I’ll be waiting. Global “weirding” has been predicted for quite some time, and Daniels work supports it.

          • WalkmanJG

            “Jash” is a perfect example of what’s gone wrong with this country and a segment of people that live within it… You now have people with no formal science education, no training in the field, no real knowledge of anything for that matter, who loudly proclaim they know what’s going on and they know science is wrong because they just do… Let that sink in for a moment… We’ve now come to a place where you can openly mock main stream science without any shred of contradicting evidence or proof and people act like that’s “normal”… No, that’s not normal. People should be required to back up their claims, but not, that’d be too hard… It’s embarrassing to see how science has been attacked to the point of near irrelevance. Very dark days are in front of us because of it…

          • Sfedblog

            Neil deGrasse Tyson? – tweet
            @neiltyson

            ‘The very best way to support and feed your delusions: Surround yourself with people whose world views match yours exactly.”

            That applies to both sides of an argument.

          • PRCountyNative

            AKA purport yourself in a non-scientific way.

          • The whole “post factual world” thing is pretty scary. Kellyanne Conway thinks the world is mad at her over phrasing, we are mad at her for making things up. The wiretapping allegations, once again, were just conclusively shown to be false yet she stood by them on the Bergen Record.
            If the leader of our country is a factually proven liar, what are the consequences? Is one of them “I can get away with anything now, our president does it”, because that’s a scary precedent – the Deputy Police Chief of Alexandria a 26 year veteran of law enforcement was just unreasonably detained because of his name coming back into the country. #45 is already enabling some very scary behavior…

          • e e

            At this rate, the possibility of 4 years morphing into 8 years is very real.

          • I am actively looking into other countries to live in, which is hard because I love California, but it is tempered by a strong desire to live abroad that has been present for a decade. This nightmare is looking to serve as the impetus to take a break from this continent for some time. I have a keenly global outlook on life and would not mind spending some time away from the western hemisphere.

          • PRCountyNative

            Chile is nice, like CA in a lot of ways. Surf, ski, drink wine! Australia too – size of USA, less people than greater Lose Angeles!

          • I’m thinking Australia or Patagonia?

          • PRCountyNative

            Chile + Argentina would be a winning trip.

          • PRCountyNative

            Thank you Walkman, well said!

            Science vs. science is great, fair, necessary. Bring it on! There may be conflict, emotion, great!

            Science vs. made up stuff = Not Science. That’s fine too. It’s called ‘television’ or ‘media’. For folks into yelling back and forth, go for it! Little is learned or accomplished. Lots of time energy and space is wasted.

            Made up stuff <> Science.

            That’s my point. The basis for the comparison does not exist. They are different things!

            If one person does science, and the other person just disagrees, they are not speaking the same language, there is no basis for comparison, evaluation.

          • roseland67

            Walkman,

            I think Jash wants more evidence, apparently he doesn’t believe what he is told to believe by whatever side of the political divide he falls on, I see no problem with that.
            When more evidence becomes available, maybe he will change his opinion.

        • Jeff

          I think it is more than fair to pose a question of confirmation bias here, although perhaps it could have been done in a better manner

          you do not need to be a climate scientist to interpret the strength of data presented in general (that goes for almost all fields, not a comment on Daniels work)

          I think 30 years from now, we will probably be better able to judge the weather from the last 10 years to see if a significant long term trend has developed in California

          • Confirmation bias or not, the man came in like toddler saying “no, YOU’RE a towel” without anything to prop it up. If you want to contribute to discourse without irritating people don’t do it like a child. “Try again” isn’t reasonable discourse. I apologize if I offended, but the type of person Jash is I’ve seen time and time again – Walkman JG sums it up.

        • roseland67

          Crashing,

          Jash did NOT say anyone or any opinion was wrong, nor did he imply it, read his post again.

      • Jash

        Sorry, a prediction is not evidence. A model is not evidence.

        Past performance will not guarantee future returns.

        When you scream ‘climate change’ because of drought, you’ve painted yourself into a corner.

        • PRCountyNative

          When you don’t understand how science works it limits your brain’s ability to explain what’s going on

          • Sfedblog

            I don’t think Jash said anything that warrants this embarrassing reaction. First he’s called a troll, then prodded about his credentials and finally called stupid, in so many words. He certainly wasn’t making a statement about the credibility of AGW. These are impolite and very unwelcoming reactions that are uncalled for. Skepticism is essential to scientific inquiry. Once you are convinced you have defined your limits no matter how smart you think you may be.

          • Gary_in_Ventura

            Trigger warning: climatologists, climate scientists, and proponents of AGW (in general) absolutely abhor people “donning the mantle of skepticism” when it comes to climate change.

          • Yolo Reborn

            Thank you for bringing up the concept of skepticism.

            Skepticism is not a word to be used lightly. If you have strong evidence contrary to a prevailing scientific consensus AND you present that evidence to the scientific community, that is called skepticism.

            If you pick up anecdotal evidence and frame it as ‘it rained this year, thus the most devastating drought of this century must be overrated’ or ‘here’s a snowball, who says the planet is warming’- and use that to attack the scientific consensus of the day- that, my friend, is not skepticism. That’s idiocy. And there ain’t no way to sugarcoat it. Nobody is being harsh to anyone. But it is tiresome to have blithering idiots with no scientific credibility call themselves “skeptics”. Own it- its called being a denier.

            “Its dark outside right now, must be global darkening.”

          • PRCountyNative

            I stick by what I said 110%. Not understanding what science is is a common thing these days. That fact limits folks’ ability to interpret what is being presented.

            It has nothing to do with intelligence.

            Science is a process. Experiments and observations are transparent open and repeatable (if it’s secret it’s not science).

            Science involves conflict! If you find that uncomfortable, embarrassing, maybe it’s not for you? Ever go to scientific talks where papers are presented? Those folks are brutal with one another! It’s part of the rough and tumble process.

            When folks like Jash conclude that because it rained, there is no AGW, it’s something other than science and you and others should know the difference or else the whole thing gets muddled.

            Careful reading reveals phrases like ‘more likely’ and ‘very likely’. Science rarely makes absolute statements… ever notice that?

            Jash can think whatever he wants. There is a difference between having an issue with a conclusion, and rejecting/discounting the whole process based on nothing. Those are different things. Sorting that out is helpful.

          • Sfedblog

            I dont know what Jash believes because he didn’t say and it doesn’t matter.He cited Daniel and Diffenbach’s claim from a couple years ago that the drought was very likely due to AWG, “very likely” being the operative words. There’s nothing definitive about “very likey”. Heden points out the overwhelming evidence of the effects of warming. That is quite different from cause. The evidence may be overwhelming. The cause is not incontrovertable and consensus has nothing to do with science.

          • roseland67

            Jash did not “conclude” anything.
            Dispute what he wrote, not what you infer he wrote to fit your argument.

          • PRCountyNative

            Correct, Jash did not conclude anything. Daniel did.

            Thus the difference: Science vs made up stuff

            Science looks at, tests, issues (perhaps I should say ‘phenomena’) and draws conclusions based on observation and experimentation.

            After scientific study (a process), folks have concluded AGW is **likely** affecting the weather.

            On the other hand, Jash has done nothing scientific, and clearly, like many others, does not understand the scientific process. He has tested nothing, concluded nothing, shared nothing, likely published nothing.

            Something vs nothing. Take your pick.

          • roseland67

            PR,

            Daniel did not conclude anything.
            Based on his experiences, experiments and observations his opinions lead him to these “possible” conclusions.

            Scientific theory must take ALL experiences, experiments and observations before it is valid, not just what is convenient.

            Not one single person anywhere on the planet has all of that data available, if they did, there would be no AGW debate, AND they would be able to predict when drought, deluge, famine, temperature, water levels etc.
            Again, here is simply not enough data to make an intelligent informed decision, maybe soon, but not yet.

          • roseland67

            Agreed

          • roseland67

            PR,

            IF:
            My experiences, experiments and observtions are accurately measured and replicable by anyone getting same results using identical build instructions, they MUST take precedence over any/all existing theories.

        • Are you a Climate Scientist? I’m guessing no.

        • Aaron A

          Time to leave, Troll. Many on this site are far more knowledgeable (and respectful) than you on the topic of climate change.

        • roseland67

          Jash,

          Agree with you, further evidence is needed to make intelligent informed decisions.
          Entirely possible that whatever climate change is happening is directly related to drought etc, but as of today, still unknown.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            Just know that while you guys are waiting for further evidence, there are land managers in the sierras who are directly dealing with the affects of climate change.

          • roseland67

            Admode,
            You may be correct,
            Is there another forum for AGW climate change discussions?
            Not sure this was Daniel’s intent for his WW Boog?

          • Admode (Susanville)

            Well he’s a climate scientist and climate is a very important factor to the subject matter discussed on this blog. I’m not sure how AGW is an inappropriate topic to discuss here.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            But maybe that’s just me.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            But for people to comment here that it’s wrong, without ANY attempt to provide proof of those claims is just silly talk. I know making baseless claims is kind of hip right now, but it’s not a good idea to do that here.

          • Sfedblog

            Who is disputing climate change? I haven’t read anything here to indicate that.

      • Rainmaker (San Jose)

        can climate change eventually erase rain shadows? 😛

      • To all below (and above): please stick to the facts! It really, truly isn’t constructive to attack other commenters, and I will continue to enforce the policy against such content. Similarly, I’ll continue to guide the conversation away from assertions masquerading as facts. Thanks!

    • tomocean

      No sense in debating with you, facts are not relevant to your case. You will believe whatever you want no matter what is presented to you. This is the new reality of the alternative facts era.

  • Craig Matthews

    Love this update Daniel. Thank you sir. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the possible causes of California’s reversal in fortune this winter…sounds very interesting.

  • gedawei
    • Charlie B
      • Gary_in_Ventura

        Teriyaki marinade?

        • Charlie B

          Soy sauce, balsamic, maple syrup and garlic. No added salt.

          • Gary_in_Ventura

            Makes sense with the soy sauce. Looks very good. Bet that balsamic-maple syrup combo made a great caramelized glaze

      • inclinejj

        Now I get what you were talking about the other day. Drove up 80 to Tahoe. Low elevation snow is wiped out but it picks up around 6000. Considering all the rain the Sierra’s received the snow pack is still in excellent shape.

    • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

      MMmmmm

  • Ventura Highway

    I am hoping for late rain, makes for a great quail season !

    • Rio Rat

      I especially like when Mom leads the little ones across the road to safety on the other side, as they chirp their excitement.

      • Nathan

        I like when an entire flock freaks out and flies away.

      • Sfedblog

        I got the impression you were hunting them – quail and dove season.

        • Rio Rat

          Nope, just my way of being sarcastic.

    • Shecky

      Both quail and dove….!

      • Slick

        And local ducks and pheasants.Yes
        Keep the late rains coming.

  • For the confused individual posting earlier who is most decidedly NOT a climate scientist, I can break it down for you. California has always been feast or famine.
    Instead now, it will be more feast, and more famine, more severe weather followed by more severe drought.

    • Gary_in_Ventura

      Remember to talk down to people if you want to win them over to your side 🙂

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Is that kinda like this quote?

        “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

        ? Mark Twain

        • Gary_in_Ventura

          Yes, though there are many definitions of “fool” these days.

        • Charlie B

          My English teacher once said: “Charlie B, you can remain silent and be thought a fool or open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

      • rainingonmycactus

        No joke. I’m not really defending the said “individual” but this site is sometimes ridiculous with the group think. The individual didn’t even get a chance to talk evidence before being ridiculed (even though the burden of proof is really on those who say that anthropogenic activity has accelerated climatic variability, not the other way around).

  • Gary_in_Ventura

    Pretty ho hum day here in Ventura but I found a piece of sand on the beach which was cool

  • Sokafriend

    Thank you, Daniel.

  • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)
  • thebigweasel

    Slightly off topic, but with a week to go before big Spring Melt starts in earnest, it looks like the Arctic is setting a new record for lowest maximum extent. It apparently peaked at 14.420 m sq km, some 100,000 sq km below the previous low maximum of 14.512, set in 2015. While ice extent could expand from the 14.250 it is at now, it’s unlikely to gain enough to match 2015 or 2016, the second lowest.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a1f09619dd31ae07f217fd16be5dd22314f9d102f320e9614a95dc6f4eca418.png

    • Yolo Hoe

      Definitely not off topic — adds constructive fodder to summer discussions about what next WY may look like — thanks for posting.

      • Someone else

        This is the California (CA) weather blog, not the Wyoming (WY) weather blog. Lets all just wait for the next Arkansas (AR) storm to roll in.

        • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

          I think WY in this case meant “Water Year.”

          • Someone else

            Thank you

          • Yolo Hoe

            Yes re WY. Coincidentally, I was born in Arkansas, though I prefer AR = atmospheric river these days.

  • tomocean
    • Pfirman

      Could not identify #6 and not sure about #4. #1. Brodaeia sp. #2. Dodecatheon. #3. Mariposa lily. #4. ? #5. Iris douglasi. #6. ?
      Please correct is wrong. I am not a botanist.

      • PRCountyNative

        Baby Blue Eyes – #4?

      • tomocean

        You did well. I went ahead and labeled them. 🙂

        • Pfirman

          Not very well at all. Way wrong on #3.

      • Charlie B

        You might not be a botanist, but it sure sounds like you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Those are clear pictures! Did you take them?

      • tomocean

        Yes. I did. Thanks!

    • Craig Matthews

      Those are gorgeous. And thanks for adding the names of the wildflowers.

  • kelpking (Linda mar Pacifica )

    Hope we can get a storm just like this upcoming event later on in may. For the salmonoids. They aren’t doing very good the past decade. Salmon fishing is closed north of ft brag into southern Oregon for 2017. Really sad watching it die

    • inclinejj

      High water flows in the fall when the Salmon spawn are essential to having good future Salmon seasons.

    • PRCountyNative

      Salmon are one of those indicators that tell what’s going on. Like coral reefs.

      It’s very sad. As a kid there were always little wood salmon boats up and down the west coast. Good lifestyle, good food. No more.

      Freshwater ecosystems are the most impacted (greatest % of species extinct or on their way) in North America, with the rest not far behind.

      That sport or commercial west coast salmon fishing is still allowed is ludicrous, criminal.

      When folks try to say things are fine, the situation is overblown, the facts around coral and salmon refute that completely.

      • inclinejj

        Clear cut logging practices clogged critical spawning rivers with tons of silt, mud and debris. The Eel River has had the most damage. It’s still recovering from bad practices in the 1950’s and beyond.

      • Pfirman

        Been meaning to ask, what is PRCounty?

        • PRCountyNative

          PRCounty describes a cultural, geographic, and sadly fading-in-time way of life, occurring in greater Point Reyes, west Marin County.

          There was a group, an island in time, a place and a distinctive lifestyle. Vagrants and Outlaws roamed the land, a land of lost toys and boys who didn’t want to grow up.

          I’ve decided I’m changing my name soon, and no more pointless arguing on line!!

          Feast on this, my avatar in full glory:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8445244c20c6f8abba06e2025776c3872c8dff8e2c2b96e3856144e922388e39.png

          • tomocean

            Sounds like my kind of place and time!

          • Sokafriend

            How long have you been there?

          • PRCountyNative

            Was there… Quite a long time. Great time.

            The east side of the northern Santa Lucia’s are now home. Out of the marine layer for one of the few times in my life!

  • scott

    The NWS Hanford summarized the next few days perfectly for Central California:

    “rain and high elevation snow moving into the area later tonight and continuing off and on through late Wednesday night.” (predicted 1/4 to 1/3in)

    — TUESDAY: The initial front will move across the region on Tuesday with strong gusty SE winds ahead of the front. Rain, heavy at times, will be the rule for most of Tuesday.

    — TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY: Isolated thunderstorm are possible late on Tuesday as the front pushes through the area. Unsettled weather continues Tuesday night into Wednesday morning behind the front. The cold core low center will cross the region on Wednesday and provide the instability needed to produce strong thunderstorms in he afternoon and into the early evening. Hail, Heavy rain, frequent lightning and gusty winds will be possible with hail being the primary threat.

    — THURSDAY: NW flow on Thursday with the usual clouds and light precip in the
    south valley and along the east side…post frontal. Some partial clearing across the Central California Interior is expected on Thursday

    Hear are some very positive signs from their discussion regarding Friday’s storm:

    –“Guidance continues to show a significant amount of precip across the region with the weekend system. It looks to be slightly wetter than Tuesdays system.

    –“at this point it appears to be a very wet system.”

    And Mammoth Howard’s headline yesterday

    “Winter to go out like a Lamb while Spring Roars in Like a Lion!….Three Important Storms on the way into Week 2…”

    It sounds like Wednesday and Thursday might be dry days so maybe I can squeeze in a trip to Mammoth for some more skiing and pictures. I was thinking of Friday, but I think Friday and Saturday up there are going to be messy.

    I am quite excited for the next week or two. Good times to come. Keep the flowers growing, the grass green, the creeks moving, and most of all some more snowpack before the big April 1st check!

  • AlTahoe

    A week ago this area still had a solid 24″ icy snow pack. Now it is all gone and some green grasses have already started to pop up. This is the truckee marsh meadow between the Tahoe keys and my neighborhood this morning. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9a93203f60c93c368a414bd81cefcefbdf4cf1a5be5fd765ff83f4a86961cc0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a10630cbdd54afedc5ae8966736df2109d33f8e383bd33e2ea54e5c4b2fa219.jpg

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Warm temps and sun angle doing work on the snow pack.

    • weathergeek100

      Heading up to Tahoe end of April. Maybe those lupines will be popping out already in certain areas.

  • inclinejj
    • Nate

      Think you got the wrong Cottonwood–that quake was in Yolo County.

    • CHeden

      No. For some reason, USGS uses a different Cottonwood near Winters than my Cottonwood up here near Redding.
      Regardless, this little shaker is the latest of several that’s hit the same area the last few weeks.

      • Nate

        That series seems similar in tectonic setting to another one going on right now SE of Coalinga. The focal mechanisms of the Winters quakes almost all have strike-slip components, so they could be associated with a “tear fault” associated with a blind thrust, like the ones near Coalinga. There was a interesting post on this blog about that swarm:
        http://temblor.net/earthquake-insights/great-quakes-in-californias-great-valley-2789/

        • That’s a great link! 🙂

        • rainingonmycactus

          Cool link, I’ve never heard of the tear faults associated with blind thrusts! Definitely some odd things going on near Coalinga, one of the USGS pubs only estimates that the fold has a propagation rate of 0.5 m/ka, which is pretty slow for 6.0 + mW quakes. Looks like the rate is geodetic, which can be questionable. A good comparison is the Ventura anticline, similar or larger historic earthquakes, but with a uplift rate of around 2 m/ka (historically 5x that though)!

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Showers! ? Hail! And thunderstorms! ? oh my! ^_^ I’m so excited for this convective weather ahead! Spring time is here baby! And this spring will be so convective we will use it as an example in seasons to come for how an active spring weather regime can develop and it will be the hallmark of springtime convection! Spring of 2017 baby! Here we go!

  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Damn the hits keep coming on the GFS 12z. Cold, showery, convective pattern continuing through the LR. I like it!

  • thlnk3r
    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      That’s good news! I trust in the CFSv2 around this time of month…

    • Rusty Rails

      Time to stock up on sunblock!

  • Thor

    Light rain began falling in Marin about an hour ago…now a little more moderate. First measurable rain in 13 days…but still had water coming off the hills and down the gutters as of this morning.

  • inclinejj

    Just started to rain in Pacifica.

    Thor: Did you pick up any measurable rainfall last Thursday when it drizzled. I received .07 in Pacifica.

  • Utrex
  • Nate

    So, regarding the severe wx parameters for this week, the SPC in Norman, OK has placed the Central Valley from Merced County north under a “Marginal” risk for tomorrow. This is from their discussion:

    “Steep mid-level lapse rates supported by cold air aloft accompanying the upper trough will spread inland during the day. Scattered showers will likely be ongoing in this region in association with ascent attending a lead shortwave trough embedded within the synoptic trough. In the wake of this feature some cloud breaks and a general decrease in shower activity is possible which may allow the boundary layer to undergo some destabilization with mlcape to 500J/kg possible. Additional storms may develop during the afternoon. With surface winds remaining backed to southerly in the valley along with 40 kt sfc-6 km vertical shear, a conditional risk will exist for a few supercells with hail and possibly a couple of tornadoes later in the afternoon into early evening.”

  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)
    • DelMarSD

      Awesome.

    • DelMarSD

      “Models forecast excessive PW values of 1.25 to 1.4 inches just
      offshore Wed morning.” Wow, that’s very moist for So Cal!

    • Sokafriend

      Heyooo. Hell no. Major political, environmental and social problems are about to explode with this storm’s new sewage run-off into the TJ River estuary, Imperial and Coronado beaches. A pastor is basically extorting the city of Tijuana to allow construction of a refugee village along the bottom of a canyon with no sewage or water lines,where untreated sewage runs constantly and floods with rain upstream, which then feeds directly into farmland, protected estuary wetlands and the shores of Imperial Beach. The ” village” consists of plywood, one room shacks.

      • DelMarSD

        Yikes. Glad I don’t live in Mexico.

  • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

    We are going to get a goose egg soon. But for now lets enjoy the rain and snow!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f9cc55d2b8273e11103f2ee233e87f24ecfd0b7abc91006615e298168fb61ed.gif

  • Finally raining in Los Gatos. I was about to call this storm a bust.

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    we may see a tornado watch or severe t-storm watch issued by the SPC for Tuesday and that will be vary rare for CA

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Why

      • DelMarSD

        Why not?

        • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

          A couple isolated tornadoes won’t meet the requirements for a tornado watch, severe thunderstorm watch is more up in the air for debate

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    we could all so be looking at a vary rare severe weather out break on Tuesday but there has too be no rain or cloud cover in the AM hrs so this rain that comes in too CA to night needs too be done and over with by time the sun comes up if that happens then boy oh boy we could really be in for some vary rare stuff timeing will be every thing

  • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

    Watch out for tornadoes on Tuesday and Wednesday! Especially in the Central Valley!

  • Did Capnarneydini’s weather west burner phone get thrown in Donner lake by his cord maiden or is he just slammed with post snow day work?

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      You’re correct he’s been quiet lately.

      • Charlie B

        He is obviously working overtime to make up for all those snow days.

        • inclinejj

          I think he may have trouble signing in again. Heavy work loads never slowed down his posting.

          • Charlie B

            That is something I don’t want to think about. We all miss his perspective and humor.

          • Yolo Hoe

            Maybe out there with Tobias — hopefully not hung up at Starved Camp up there near CrashingOut

      • click

        RunningSprings and him are off plotting a triumphant return (I hope)

    • maddogokp

      He’s in his shed with the bobble heads…

    • SloTruckeeJohn

      Cap’n Barndini and the Brown Dirt Musikman1 is(are) due for a re-invention. I think we all are anxiously waiting with baited breath…this site isn’t quite the same without him (them).

      • Yolo Hoe

        Now I have the tune playing in my head

  • Arctic River (Suisun City)

    The upcoming storm is what I was begging for last year around this time: The Depollenator. Bring it.

  • With temps still in the 60’s with a high near 80 today, and with dew point at 50, it feels like rain is unlikely. But radar says it’s out there.

  • mattzweck
    • VK (Sacramento)

      I don’t get it. A system which is designed to catch water is expected to be damaged because there’s water coming? Am I reading that right?

      • My second thought is: Can less water be diverted into the aqueduct? Bartshe what say you??

        • Tuolumne

          That’s what you would think. I suspect the concerns of the LADWP, whatever possibilities they are based on, got mangled in the process of writing the article.

      • Danlyle (Mariposa)

        Kinda vague description of the threats, but I imagine the runoff will
        affect all infrastructure in the Eastern Sierra region. High flows on
        all waterways could impact the aqueduct systems.

    • Sokafriend

      That’s an eye-opening threat declaration.

    • molbiol

      That was an extremely poorly written and wholly uninformative article that explains nothing and makes poor sense. Quite typical of the clickbait and sensationalist crap that the media spews online in order to generate ad revenue.

      • Shecky

        Exactly!!

    • Rusty Rails

      Silt in the aqueduct and pumps along with water overflowing into dry Owens Lake and damaging dust suppression plantings and sprinkler systems appear to be the greatest concerns.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-garcetti-water-emergency-20170320-story.html

      • Nathan

        That’s ironic

        • Rusty Rails

          Yup!

        • Pfirman

          Cadillac level karma.

  • Rio Rat

    Steady light rain started about half hour ago,after 2 wks of mostly late winter sunshine, first day of spring starts the fun back up. Look forward to looking up these next several days.

  • Patrick from Stockton

    Rain starting in Stockton now too. Looks like much more to come into the evening….

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Pretty intense squall lines looks to develop off the coast of the central coast and south bay area with a strong isolated cell off the peninsula in a blob of rain around 8, have fun Tyler Price
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ccfe317c9155a0a9805965d7cd43a68ad297a7cda659efc58a9e7cae647e3ef1.png

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Some cells look to have a hook echo too

  • BeerguyOE

    Getting Rain in Soledad now

  • janky

    National weather service cutting back snow amounts for Tahoe area. BA from OpenSnow saying the same this morning but then NOAA cut their amounts back significantly too. Hoping the Friday/Saturday storm holds together (!)

    • inclinejj

      45 and cloudy in Incline Village. Getting darker.

      • Pfirman

        Please don’t mention 45, even like that.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Perhaps time to impeach Fahrenheit and try our luck with Celsius or Lord Kelvin?

          • Tuolumne

            Naahhh… let’s be nonconformist and use the Rømer scale.

    • AlTahoe

      I would be surprised if we even get 3″ at lake level by Sunday. We are supposed to get 2-3″ of rain though.

      • matthew

        I am expecting about 2″ of rain and pretty much zilch in terms of snow accumulation in my hood this week. Fine by me. A little more water for the forest and a little less shoveling for me.

  • Dan weather maniac

    So far minimal rain in Orinda, about 0.10 or so. Still nice to see everything wet again but I’m hoping more come overnight as the forecast is for 0.50 – 1.00 or so thru tomorrow.

  • mattzweck
    • scott

      In Bakersfield it looks the same and we just got a few drops out of the sky.

  • Jim

    .52 here in Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County as of 7pm and still raining.

  • click

    Looking forward to some potential rain this week, hopefully not the last before the heat sets in for the summer. Last two days have had great sunsets, similar cloud formations, nice lenticulars and a clean cut between sky and cloud
    Yesterday
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1256eed0aec6e509c24df8f6b16953c202f3d12edaba1d5d18690bec086d3ee0.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f9ea0f0f0fdb018f06ce23b150d977a0f596f17fd2ceef0883809051d67bf72.jpg
    Today
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bd5dbe22da86eee063c58e0f8e83adc987b4209784f37fb749e4590a9a7a6084.jpg

    • Dan weather maniac

      Amazing pictures of the clouds

    • Craig Matthews

      Bottom pic is epic. Fantastic display of lenticulars.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Reporting in from seaside with cloudy conditions.. on and off showers all afternoon and evening now, picking up in coverage temps have hovered in the mid 50’s comfortably all day with the cloud cover and a calm wind. Showers are becoming a little more enhanced now offshore as they move into the central coast and are starting to pick up some convective characteristics.. I expect to convection to gradually increase in intensity throughout the overnight hours with stronger convection after midnight and tomorrow morning with probably some good thunderstorms rumbling around from coast to valleys.

  • Eben

    Here is a panoramic shot from the 6th floor of a building in Mountain View, looking to the north, showing the striped clouds stretching off into the distance. I hope you can see it on this page, with at least 7 stripes from left to right. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4963cd9cdf099757f70f3e66f4bb0292157161fbcaa72c433d5a3ffa474c534.jpg

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Convection is popping up everywhere, I suspect good thunderstorms tonight https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/703f8b77b0300d183c463089903748c13f950419d71d71ca1dea42d8caa7b2ca.png

    • TJH

      Getting hammered here in Pacifica. Bring it on!

    • Jim

      Nothing showing on lighthing tracker yet…hope it changes !!!

  • Tangocity

    Finally a post to reset the comments. Comments haven’t been able to load for me for a couple weeks. Looking forward to the rain in Ventura County Tuesday and Wednesday. I have already emptied one of my four rain barrels, so it will be nice to try to fill that up again…. on what might be our last significant rainfall of the year.

  • Rusty Rails

    Sky cover in Santa Cruz moments before the initial light rain rolled in this afternoon. A short break around 5 then bands of increasing intensity all evening. The ground around the hood only needed an hour or so of light rain to go into full runoff mode. I fear the soils along Hwy 17, which still had runoff across several spots this past weekend, might respond as quickly and be a mess by the weekend.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51b429686c697d3d89facd7f32f962da28eaa50146a162c5a54fb46de56bf926.jpg